Sunday, April 20, 2014

If I Stay

If I Stay
By: Gayle Forman
If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)
Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.
The trailer made me do it. Honestly, I had no interest in Gayle Forman's books previously simply because I don't usually enjoy this genre, these kinds of stories. But then I watched the trailer and it looked really good. It looked like a movie I might be interested in seeing. So, of course, after establishing that, the next step was to actually read the book.
I get it. I do. I understand why there are so many rave reviews for this book and for Gayle Forman's writing in general. This book is a beautiful story told in a beautiful way. Gayle Forman is great at characterization, in getting across what you need to know about each character, quickly and through action rather than exposition.
This story is rooted in a simple idea, but is made complex and touching through flashbacks. I thought the format was pretty cool, once you get used to the switching back and forth. The language is simple, also, but powerful in the right places. I think that's the thing that draws people into these books, the simple, but powerful stories.
That being said, I didn't connect with this book like I have with others. I liked it. I saw the value in it, and could appreciate it for that. But this story didn't change me like it did for some people, and I don't want to pretend that it did. So I'm not going to fake that. This book is really great. I don't doubt for a second that it can and has touched a lot of people. It just wasn't that for me, which is fine.
I could go into the reasons why I didn't connect with this book or these characters, but I think that is less interesting to you than if I say that you should give this book a chance. It might not be a book that everyone will connect with, but it's a book that I think everyone can appreciate. So I'd give it a chance. Maybe it'll be that book for you.
“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”  
“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”
“I'm not choosing, but I'm running out of fight.”

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